City of Darkness - Kim Wright

This is the first in a series of mysteries featuring prominent European cities from the Victorian era. This first one is set in London. It features many of the staples you would expect in a Victorian era mystery, crime, family scandal, romance and Jack the Ripper. It evokes the atmosphere that I expect from a book of this location and time period. I'm very susceptible to atmosphere so I was pleased with that.

Jack the Ripper is causing panic in London and the police are doing everything they can think of to track him down. The fledgling science of forensics is just barely being used and many think it is a lot of baloney. Seeing the beginnings of scientific investigation was very interesting. The officers involved were fighting very hard to make it acceptable and reliable. Even though this is fiction, this is a probably a fairly realistic look at how forensics was treated in the beginning of the science. The idea of very clear class distinctions in society in Victorian England is a running theme through the book.

I really enjoyed this book. It is a very character-driven story and the personalities of the people are developed throughout the book. The action is driven by the characters' reaction to events rather than plot-driven and I find that very satisfying. I'm glad this is a series so that I can revisit these people again.